Here are some startling statistics compiled from a variety of academic and popular sources. I am sure you have heard how much money porn makes, how much there is, etc. But, what many don’t see as much is the impact porn is having on individuals and society.
Here are some stats I have found (links give sources).
*Porn is more addictive than cocaine or heroin.
*According to a survey published in the Journal of the American Psychological Association, 86% of men are likely to click on Internet sex sites if given the opportunity.
*34% of female readers of Today’s Christian Woman’s online newsletter admitted to intentionally accessing Internet porn.
*According to the Journal of Adolescent Health, prolonged exposure to pornography leads to:
- An exaggerated perception of sexual activity in society
- Diminished trust between intimate couples
- The abandonment of the hope of sexual monogamy
- Belief that promiscuity is the natural state
- Belief that abstinence and sexual inactivity are unhealthy
- Cynicism about love or the need for affection between sexual partners
- Belief that marriage is sexually confining
- Lack of attraction to family and child-raising
*According to sociologist Jill Manning, the research indicates pornography consumption is associated with the following six trends, among others:
- Increased marital distress, and risk of separation and divorce
- Decreased marital intimacy and sexual satisfaction
- Increased appetite for more graphic types of pornography and sexual activity associated with abusive, illegal or unsafe practices
- Devaluation of monogamy, marriage and child rearing
- An increasing number of people struggling with compulsive and addictive sexual behavior
*The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (divorce lawyers) reported that the most salient factors present in divorce cases are as follows:
- 68% of the divorces involved one party meeting a new lover over the Internet.
- 56% involved one party having “an obsessive interest in pornographic websites.”
- 47% involved spending excessive time on the computer.
- 33% involved excessive time spent speaking in chat rooms.
*According to research from Family Safe Media, the largest group of viewers of Internet porn is children between ages 12 and 17.
*According to a study cited in the Washington Post, more than 11 million teenagers view Internet pornography on a regular basis.
*”Younger Americans seem to have morally indifferent attitudes toward porn. Only one-third of 13- to 24-year-olds believes viewing pornographic images is always or usually wrong (32%), compared to more than half of older adults (54%). About one-quarter says reading erotic content (27%) or watching sexually explicit TV or movie scenes (24%) is immoral.”
*When a child or adolescent is directly exposed to pornography the following effects have been documented:
- Lasting negative or traumatic emotional responses.
- Earlier onset of first sexual intercourse, thereby increasing the risk of STD’s over the lifespan.
- The belief that superior sexual satisfaction is attainable without having affection for one’s partner, thereby reinforcing the commoditization of sex and the objectification of humans.
- The belief that being married or having a family are unattractive prospects.
- Increased risk for developing sexual compulsions and addictive behavior.
- Increased risk of exposure to incorrect information about human sexuality long before a minor is able to contextualize this information in ways an adult brain could.
- And overestimating the prevalence of less common practices (e.g., group sex, bestiality, or sadomasochistic activity).
*A study of youth between the ages of 10 and 17 concluded that there is a significant relationship between frequent porn use and feelings of loneliness and major depression.
*51% of male college students and 32% of female college students first viewed pornography before teenage years (12 and younger).
*In 1994, a survey showed 91% of men raised in Christian homes were exposed to pornography while growing up (compared to 98% of those not raised in a Christian home).
*In August 2006, a survey reported 50% of all Christian men and 20% of all Christian women are addicted to pornography. 60% of the women who answered the survey admitted to having significant struggles with lust; 40% admitted to being involved in sexual sin in the past year.
What can we take from this science?
There is no instance where porn is good for individuals, families, relationships, or society. It is a public health issue and is one that needs to be talked about and advocated against.
**You might also be interested in my book, Cleansed: A Catholic Guide To Freedom From Porn.